Hale Library first-floor renovation and modernization project rendering

A rendering of K-State’s Hale Library first-floor renovation and modernization project shows planned group study spaces. Dave and Ellie Everitt donated $3 million to help the $6.5 million project.

A K-State couple from Florida has donated $3 million to the university’s Hale Library for a renovation project.

The gift from Dave and Ellie Everitt, Marco Island, Florida, is first major donation toward the $6.5 million Hale Library first-floor renovation and modernization project, the university said.

The renovation aims to create a more accessible entrance to the first floor of Hale Library. It will include group study spaces, instruction rooms, satellite meeting spaces for student services, exhibit space for special collections, a café and flexible event space.

Ellie Everitt graduated from K-State in 1973 with a degree in clothing and textiles from the College of Human Ecology. Dave Everitt received his degree in industrial engineering from the College of Engineering in 1975.

They are both KSU Foundation trustees and serve on the Innovation and Inspiration Campaign steering committee, which aims to raise $1.4 billion by 2020. Dave also is on the foundation’s board of directors.

While they support both of their colleges, the Everitts enjoy investing in programs that positively affect the entire campus, the university said. When the KSU Foundation and K-State Libraries told them of the Hale Library renovation project, they jumped at the opportunity.

“This renovation will help the libraries enhance their role by supporting collaboration and multidisciplinary studies,” Dave said. “Another aspect of the project I like is the ability to showcase special collections that are in the library or that travel through the library. It’s a place people go to appreciate these historical and important documents.”

Lori Goetsch, dean of K-State Libraries, said the Everitts’ gift highlights the importance of K-State Libraries to the university.

“The reimagined Hale Library will more effectively provide students, faculty and researchers with diverse spaces that anticipate their needs and encourage their success,” Goetsch said.

Along with the accessibility and open spaces, the renovation will help the library serves as home for K-State Libraries’ Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative, which aims to make costly textbooks more accessible for students.

“Textbooks have become an enormous expense for students and are not cost-efficient,” Ellie said. “The digital textbook initiative helps create the ability for professors to keep information up to date and relevant to students’ area of study, and they save students money.”

The Everitts previously gave $3 million to K-State: $2 million to the School of Leadership Studies and $1 million to the K-State Welcome Center.